COMMENT by Amir Mir
Leeds defender Pontus Jansson was named in the Championship Team of the Season partnering Brighton’s Lewis Dunk in the side.
There is no doubt that Jansson deserves praise for the manner in which he has helped Garry Monk mould his team into promotion candidates.
However, Newcastle ace Ciaran Clark has produced better form than the Sweden international this term and he should have been named in the starting XI ahead of the Whites player.
Clark moved to St James’ Park last summer from Championship rivals Aston Villa, instantly becoming an important part of Rafa Benitez’ side.
The 27-year-old has helped the Spaniard keep 13 clean sheets in 32 games, impressive numbers considering the enormous pressure that was placed on the club at the start of the campaign.
The Magpies were expected to win and take the Championship by storm, therefore, helping them to top spot with eight games remaining is a great feat.
From their 2-0 win at Leeds in November to the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa and the 2-1 away win at Brighton – Clark has played a crucial part in those tough yet important games.
By contrast, Jansson has helped Monk’s side secure 11 clean sheets but was dropped for arguably their biggest game of the season at the weekend.
Monk opted to bench the highly popular defender against automatic chasers Brighton and without him, they went on to secure an impressive clean sheet and three points.
When analysing the best defenders of the season, Clark’s toughness, experience and ability to sense danger quickly, has been better than most of his counterparts.
That is one big factor, aside from Dwight Gayle’s goals, as to why his team are heading back to the Premier League.
In other Leeds news, Pontus Jansson’s girlfriend reacts to him being named in the TOTS.